Home > 2009 Movie Reviews > Coraline Review

Coraline Review


Coraline is a visually stunning film with a dark, but entertaining story.

Coraline is a visually stunning film with a dark, but entertaining story.

My rating 3.5 Stars

One of the great things about film is that you can create any world imaginable. You are only limited by your imagination. Very few directors understand this, however Henry Selick is a master at creating worlds that both amaze and scare the color out of you. He creates worlds out of thin air using a very old method of movie production, stop-motion animation. It is a real shame that this is a dying art. Stop-motion animation is rapidly being replaced by faster and easier rendering CGI. While I have nothing negative to say about CGI, there is something to say about the elegance of stop-motion animation. With this style of filming the audience can relate more to the characters because they feel real. People know fake when they see it, they may not know it, but they feel it. That’s why you don’t see many good movies like these done with CGI, it just doesn’t have the same reaction with the audience.

When I sit down to watch a movie like Coraline, I like to give it the special attention that directors like Henry Selick give to their movies. It may sound silly, but these people put their hearts and souls in these movies and it shows. Coraline is stunning! It’s a beautiful picture. The level of detail is remarkable. When I watch a movie like this, I always put myself in the director’s shoes, then I quickly take them off. I cannot imagine the daunting task it is to take on a project like this. So when a movie like Coraline comes along, I savor every scene, every character and every single detail. This is movie making at its core and at its best. Bravo!

Of course a movie’s look and feel wouldn’t be any good if it didn’t have a great story to go along with it. You must have both and Coraline does have both. The story is a little off the deep end. It’s not quite a kid’s story and it’s not quite an adult story either. To be honest, it isn’t really anything in between. Coraline is something completely different. This film is for film lovers. Henry says that this movie’s audience are brave children. I couldn’t agree more.

Coraline is about a bratty little girl whose parents are workaholics and never have time for her. She’s an only child, but she struggles to make friends because of her nature to be mean to new people. The family just moved in to a new house and the new neighbors are really strange. Coraline prefers to be left alone so she explores the house instead of playing with one of the kids in the neighborhood. When she finds a strange door that just happens to be blocked she is very taken and puzzled by it. Later in the night while she slept, she was woken by sounds coming from that door. However, when she opened it this time, it wasn’t blocked. This time it had a tunnel that took her to the same house, but in some sort of alternate universe where everyone had buttons sewn into their eyes.

At first everyone was very nice and pleasant to Coraline and she enjoyed stopping by to say hello every night. She felt as though these were her real parents instead of the others in the real universe. However, one night a secret was revealed that changed Coraline’s perception of this new world. She now saw that this new world was a jail, a slave camp and if she stayed she would be trapped for ever.

The story is quite gripping and dark. It is like nothing you have ever seen. However, the most fascinating feature of this movie it’s the detail, the film making aspect of this movie. While the average movie goer might think Coraline was just okay, the film enthusiast will love this film, especially if he or she appreciate stop-motion animation.

One of the great things about film is that you can create any world imaginable. You are only limited by your imagination. Very few directors understand this, however Henry Selick is a master at creating worlds that both amaze and scare the color out of you. He creates worlds out of thin air using a very old method of movie production, stop-motion animation. It is a real shame that this is a dying art. Stop-motion animation is rapidly being replaced by faster and easier rendering CGI. While I have nothing negative to say about CGI, there is something to say about the elegance of stop-motion animation. With this style of filming the audience can relate more to the characters because they feel real. People know fake when they see it, they may not know it, but they feel it. That’s why you don’t see many good movies like these done with CGI, it just doesn’t have the same reaction with the audience.

When I sit down to watch a movie like Coraline, I like to give it the special attention that directors like Henry Selick give to their movies. It may sound silly, but these people put their hearts and souls in these movies and it shows. Coraline is stunning! It’s a beautiful picture. The level of detail is remarkable. When I watch a movie like this, I always put myself in the director’s shoes, then I quickly take them off. I cannot imagine the daunting task it is to take on a project like this. So when a movie like Coraline comes along, I savor every scene, every character and every single detail. This is movie making at its core and at its best. Bravo!

Of course a movie’s look and feel wouldn’t be any good if it didn’t have a great story to go along with it. You must have both and Coraline does have both. The story is a little off the deep end. It’s not quite a kid’s story and it’s not quite an adult story either. To be honest, it isn’t really anything in between. Coraline is something completely different. This film is for film lovers. Henry says that this movie’s audience are brave children. I couldn’t agree more.

Coraline is about a bratty little girl whose parents are workaholics and never have time for her. She’s an only child, but she struggles to make friends because of her nature to be mean to new people. The family just moved in to a new house and the new neighbors are really strange. Coraline prefers to be left alone so she explores the house instead of playing with one of the kids in the neighborhood. When she finds a strange door that just happens to be blocked she is very taken and puzzled by it. Later in the night while she slept, she was woken by sounds coming from that door. However, when she opened it this time, it wasn’t blocked. This time it had a tunnel that took her to the same house, but in some sort of alternate universe where everyone had buttons sewn into their eyes.

At first everyone was very nice and pleasant to Coraline and she enjoyed stopping by to say hello every night. She felt as though these were her real parents instead of the others in the real universe. However, one night a secret was revealed that changed Coraline’s perception of this new world. She now saw that this new world was a jail, a slave camp and if she stayed she would be trapped for ever.

The story is quite gripping and dark. It is like nothing you have ever seen. However, the most fascinating feature of this movie it’s the detail, the film making aspect of this movie. While the average movie goer might think Coraline was just okay, the film enthusiast will love this film, especially if he or she appreciate stop-motion animation.

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